Ina Garten’s 10 Best Recipes From ‘Barefoot Contessa Foolproof’

Ina Garten has been writing cookbooks for more than 20 years. One of the most popular — and one that often shows up on her Barefoot Contessa Food Network show — is 2012’s Foolproof

These recipes are all about making a “game plan so everything is served hot while you keep your cool.” Here are the 10 best recipes from Barefoot Contessa Foolproof, plus one honorable mention. 

Ina Garten makes her famous cosmo during "Seth Goes Day Drinking with Ina Garten" on February 6, 2019
Ina Garten | Lloyd Bishop/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

Honorable Mention — Ina Garten’s recipe for Duke’s Cosmo was a must during the pandemic

Ina went viral in early 2020 when she highlighted her Duke’s Cosmo recipe on Instagram, and then took a drink from the largest martini glass known to man. This fantastic cocktail couldn’t be easier to make. All you have to do is pour some freshly squeezed lemon juice, Cointreau liqueur, cranberry juice cocktail, and good vodka into a pitcher. Then shake it up and serve over ice.

Italian Seafood Salad should be your go-to summer salad

If you live in an area with access to good shrimp, scallops, fresh calamari, and mussels, then Ina’s Italian Seafood Salad should be the star of your summer salad rotation.

“This is a fantastic recipe. It takes a little patience but absolutely worth it. The flavors and the wow factor of the dish are wonderful. I am not a confident cook but this is my go-to recipe for special occasions or when I want to impress and it has never let me down,” one satisfied viewer wrote.

Easy Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese Croutons is a twist on classic comfort food

Dipping grilled cheese into tomato soup is a ritual of American childhood. But adults deserve more than a can of soup, bread, butter, and processed American cheese. The Food Network star elevates this classic comfort food with her recipe for Easy Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese Croutons

The soup is made with olive oil, onions, garlic, chicken stock, crushed tomatoes, saffron threads, salt and pepper, orzo, and heavy cream. For the croutons, you’ll need a few slices of country white bread, butter, and grated Gruyère cheese.

Salmon and Guacamole Sandwiches will be a big hit with the entire family

Ina’s fans will tell you that her “fabulous recipe” for Salmon and Guacamole Sandwiches is a keeper because it has “easy, excellent, and precise directions.” This dish will be an “incredible hit” at every picnic, cookout, or family get-together.

“Exquisitely delectable! All of Ina’s guac recipes are superb. This one’s void of tomatoes and has tons of flavor…You’ll be saving this recipe and making it time and time again — a real keeper!” one fan wrote.

Truffled Mashed Potatoes feature Ina Garten’s favorite ingredient

Fans of the Barefoot Contessa know that she loves white truffle butter, so we had to include a recipe that features her favorite ingredient. Ina’s Truffled Mashed Potatoes will be “the best-mashsed potato side dish” you will ever eat. As one fan shared, it’s “easy to make and always a hit.”

“I followed the recipe exactly…They were far and away the very best mashed potatoes I have ever had, and I have had a lot of mashed potatoes…I may never make mashed potatoes any other way again. Thank you, Ina!” one happy fan shared.

All of the ingredients needed for Crispy Mustard Roasted Chicken are probably in your kitchen

The Barefoot Contessa’s Crispy Mustard Roasted Chicken recipe calls for just a handful of ingredients and can be on the table in an hour. In addition to a four-pound chicken, you’ll need garlic cloves, thyme, salt and pepper, panko bread crumbs, lemon zest, olive oil, butter, Dijon mustard, and dry white wine.

Making Ina Garten’s Foolproof Ribs with BBQ Sauce is easier than you think

Ina always says that “store-bought is fine.” But when it comes to BBQ sauce, it’s best to go with homemade. To make her Foolproof Ribs with BBQ Sauce, you’ll need four racks of Danish baby back ribs or two racks of St. Louis ribs. 

Season with salt and pepper and cover them in Ina’s homemade sauce before putting them in the oven for about 90 minutes. Then, finish cooking these delicious ribs on the grill and serve hot.

Salted Caramel Brownies are a heavenly dessert

If you and your family are brownie lovers, you must give Ina’s Salted Caramel Brownies a try. This delectable dessert is made with butter, Hershey’s semisweet chocolate chips, unsweetened chocolate, eggs, instant coffee granules, vanilla extract, sugar, flour, baking powder, salt, caramel sauce, and flaked sea salt.

The key with this dish is to not overbake. As soon as you take them out of the oven, drizzle the caramel sauce over the hot brownies and then sprinkle with the sea salt. It’s truly brownie heaven!

Lobster Mac and Cheese is ‘perfect in every way’

Ina loves to elevate comfort food dishes, and that’s exactly what she does with her Lobster Mac and Cheese. We’re not gonna lie, if you follow this recipe to the letter it will get a bit pricey. But, the results will be worth it.

“I thought this recipe was perfect in every way.  We used pasta shells instead of the suggested pasta shapes and added bacon to the breadcrumb topping.  This was an absolute home run recipe!” one reviewer shared.

Ina Garten’s Raspberry Crumble Bars take kitchen skills and a few tools

Another delicious dessert from Ina’s Foolproof cookbook is her Raspberry Crumble Bars. This intermediate recipe requires an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, a sifter, a large cutting board, and a nine-inch square baking pan. 

The only ingredients you’ll need are unsalted butter, sugar, pure vanilla extract, kosher salt, good raspberry jam, good granola (without dried fruit), sliced almonds, and confectioners’ sugar.

Balsamic-Roasted Brussel Sprouts are actually quite yummy!

If anyone can make brussel sprouts delicious, it’s Ina Garten. Her recipe for Balsamic-Roasted Brussel Sprouts calls for the veggie to be tossed in a mixture of pancetta, olive oil, salt, pepper, and “syrupy balsamic vinegar.” Simply spread the brussel sprouts on a sheet pan, then roast for 20 to 30 minutes.

“Easy to make yet adds so much to any meal,” one reviewer shared. “I do suggest serving immediately after roasting so the vegetables are nice and crispy.”

The Barefoot Contessa airs on the Food Network.

RELATED: Barefoot Contessa Ina Garten’s 10 Best One-Pot Meals